Somebody once quipped that, while Geneva is a city that has a lake, Como is a lake that has a city.  Como town is historically a commercial and industrial city, and it still has that urban buzz about it.  So it feels less like a resort and more like a ‘real’ town.  Yet it has enough lakeside beauty and centuries-old heritage to make it a satisfying base for a short stay on Lake Como.  It has a few ‘must-see’ tourist attractions, an elegant and interesting shopping area, and a bustling market.

There are two railway stations in Como, which can be confusing.  The main line station is San Giovanni, high above the town on the western side. From here, trains from Milan cut across to Chiasso and the border with Switzerland.  Its S.G. for fast trains to Milan and connections to major Italian cities like Venice.  Como Lago station is the terminus of a regional train that ambles along to Milano Cadorna stopping at just about every station on the way.  It can be useful for the connections at Saronno for Malpensa Airport, but since the Malpensa Express started to go through to Milan Centrale and Milan Porta Garibaldi, it is now probably just as fast to go via Milan as to take this slow train and change at Saronno.

Parking in Como – Perhaps the most convenient parking lot is the Centro-Lago underground car park.  As the name implies, it has two main exits, one for the centre of town (it is a short walk down Via Dante to the Piazza Dante in the old town), and the other for the lake front.  Parking isn’t cheap, but it is secure, and because it is underground, your car won’t get boiling hot on a summer day.

For a list of things to see in and around Como, click here